Thursday, March 18, 2010

hard landing.. :-) , Expedition 22 : Soyuz TMS-16 , Arkalyk Kaxakhstan Mar 18 2010

The Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 22 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 18, 2010.
NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian Cosmonaut Maxim Suraev are returning from six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 21 and 22 crews.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Water Jet : Enceladus.. a Moon of Saturn , NASA Cassini Spacecraft Nov 21 2009

Dramatic plumes, both large and small, spray water ice out from many locations along the famed 'tiger stripes' near the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus. The tiger stripes are fissures that spray icy particles, water vapor and organic compounds.

This mosaic was created from two high-resolution images that were captured by the narrow-angle camera when NASA's Cassini spacecraft flew past Enceladus and through the jets on Nov. 21, 2009. Imaging the jets over time will allow Cassini scientists to study the consistency of their activity.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sand Dunes on Mars, NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Dec 28 2009

Dunes of sand-sized materials have been trapped on the floors of many Martian craters. This is one example, from a crater in Noachis Terra, west of the giant Hellas impact basin.

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this view on Dec. 28, 2009.

The dunes here are linear, thought to be due to shifting wind directions. In places, each dune is remarkably similar to adjacent dunes, including a reddish (or dust colored) band on northeast-facing slopes. Large angular boulders litter the floor between dunes.

The most extensive linear dune fields know in the solar system are on Saturn's large moon Titan. Titan has a very different environment and composition, so at meter-scale resolution they probably are very different from Martian dunes.

This image covers a swath of ground about 1.2 kilometers (three-fourth of a mile) wide, centered at 42.7 degrees south latitude, 38.0 degrees east longitude. It is one product from HiRISE observation ESP_016036_1370. The season on Mars is southern-hemisphere autumn. Other image products from this observation are available at

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Men on Mission, NASA Images: STS-130 Feb 11 2010

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick
conducted the STS-130 mission's first spacewalk on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010.

The spacewalking pair finished all their assigned work and some get-ahead tasks. The Tranquility node and cupola were robotically maneuvered from Endeavour's payload bay, and then installed onto the port side of the Unity node. This was the first of three planned spacewalks for the STS-130 mission.

a Man on Mission, NASA/JSC Nov 2009

Mission Specialist Randy Bresnik,
near the Columbus laboratory,
participates in the STS-129 mission's second spacewalk.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Phoenix Lander on Mars, Composited Images gathered for 5 months after landing on Mars on May 25 2008

This mosaic of images from the Surface Stereo Imager camera on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows several trenches dug by Phoenix, plus a corner of the spacecraft's deck and the Martian arctic plain stretching to the horizon. The footpad at the bottom center is about 1 meter (3 feet) below the spacecraft deck seen at the lower left. Overlaid images show trenches dug to either nearly pure water ice or ice-cemented soil. Analyses of samples taken from these trenches give clues to the history of the region.
This approximately true color view combines images taken on several dates during the five months Phoenix studied its surroundings after landing on May 25, 2008. The Phoenix Mission was led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission was by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Earth: Mouydir Mountains in Algeria, Space Shuttle Feb 21 2000

These impermanent waterways are part of Oued Irharrhar, which appear to be carrying sulfur (yellow) and iron (red) deposits. The city of Amguid is located on these waterways, and all lie in the Mouydir Mountains in Algeria.
This image was taken from the Space Shuttle on February 21, 2000.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chemical Soups Around Cool Stars , Caltech- NASA/JPL Apr 7 2009

This artist's conception shows a young, hypothetical planet around a cool star. A soupy mix of potentially life-forming chemicals can be seen pooling around the base of the jagged rocks. Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope hint that planets around cool stars—the so-called M-dwarfs and brown dwarfs that are widespread throughout our galaxy—might possess a different mix of life-forming, or prebiotic, chemicals than our young Earth.
Life on our planet is thought to have arisen out of a pond-scum-like mix of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are thought to have come from a planet-forming disk of gas and dust that swirled around our young sun. Meteorites carrying the chemicals might have crash-landed on Earth.
Astronomers don't know if these same life-generating processes are taking place around stars that are cooler than our sun, but the Spitzer observations show their disk chemistry is different. Spitzer detected a prebiotic molecule, called hydrogen cyanide, in the disks around yellow stars like our sun, but found none around cooler, less massive, reddish stars. Hydrogen cyanide is a carbon-containing, or organic compound. Five hydrogen cyanide molecules can join up to make adenine—a chemical element of the DNA molecule found in all living organisms on Earth.

Friday, August 14, 2009

the Rings of Saturn, Spacecraft Cassini

In this simulated image of Saturn's rings, color is used to present information about ring particle sizes in different regions based on the measured effects of three radio signals.Three simultaneous radio signals of 0.94, 3.6 and 13 centimeter wavelength (Ka-, X- and S-bands) were sent from the Cassini spacecraft through the rings to Earth. The observed change of each signal as Cassini moved behind the rings provided a profile of the distribution of ring material as a function of distance from Saturn, or an optical depth profile.
* Image Credit : JPL/ NASA

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jupiter and its moon Io , Infrared color composite Image by Spacecraft Feb 28 2007

This is a montage of New Horizons images of Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io, taken during the spacecraft's Jupiter flyby in early 2007. The Jupiter image is an infrared color composite taken by the spacecraft's near-infrared imaging spectrometer, the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) at 1:40 UT on Feb. 28, 2007. The infrared wavelengths used (red: 1.59 µm, green: 1.94 µm, blue: 1.85 µm) highlight variations in the altitude of the Jovian cloud tops, with blue denoting high-altitude clouds and hazes, and red indicating deeper clouds. The prominent bluish-white oval is the Great Red Spot. The observation was made at a solar phase angle of 75 degrees but has been projected onto a crescent to remove distortion caused by Jupiter's rotation during the scan. The Io image, taken at 00:25 UT on March 1st 2007, is an approximately true-color composite taken by the panchromatic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), with color information provided by the 0.5 µm ("blue") and 0.9 µm ("methane") channels of the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The image shows a major eruption in progress on Io's night side, at the northern volcano Tvashtar. Incandescent lava glows red beneath a 330-kilometer high volcanic plume, whose uppermost portions are illuminated by sunlight. The plume appears blue due to scattering of light by small particles in the plume

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hyperion of 250km across only with chaotic pattern of rotation, Late 2005 Spacecraft Cassini

What lies at the bottom of Hyperion's strange craters? Nobody knows. To help find out, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn swooped past the sponge-textured moon in late 2005 and took an image of unprecedented detail. That image, shown above in false color, shows a remarkable world strewn with strange craters and a generally odd surface. The slight differences in color likely show differences in surface composition. At the bottom of most craters lies some type of unknown dark material. Inspection of the image shows bright features indicating that the dark material might be only tens of meters thick in some places. Hyperion is about 250 kilometers across, rotates chaotically, and has a density so low that it might house a vast system of caverns inside.

Saturn Back-lighted by Sun, Jan 18 2009 Robot Spacecraft Cassini

In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear. The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn recently drifted in giant planet's shadow for about 12 hours and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a view unlike any other. First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn, slightly scattering sunlight, in this exaggerated color image. Saturn's rings light up so much that new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in the image. Seen in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn's E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered ice-fountains of the moon Enceladus and the outermost ring visible above. Far in the distance, at the left, just above the bright main rings, is the almost ignorable pale blue dot of Earth.

A Moon of Saturn: Enceladus, Jun 28 2009 Spacecraft Cassini

Do underground oceans vent through the tiger stripes on Saturn's moon Enceladus? Long features dubbed tiger stripes are known to be spewing ice from the moon's icy interior into space, creating a cloud of fine ice particles over the moon's South Pole and creating Saturn's mysterious E-ring. Evidence for this has come from the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. Pictured above, a high resolution image of Enceladus is shown from a close flyby. The unusual surface features dubbed tiger stripes are visible in false-color blue. Why Enceladus is active remains a mystery, as the neighboring moon Mimas, approximately the same size, appears quite dead. Most recently, an analysis of dust captured by Cassini found evidence for sodium as expected in a deep salty ocean. Conversely however, recent Earth-based observations of ice ejected by Enceladus into Saturn's E-Ring showed no evidence of the expected sodium. Such research is particularly interesting since such an ocean would be a candidate to contain life.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

ISS: Interational Space Station, Taken from Space Shuttle Discovery Mar 25 2009

Backdropped by a blue and white Earth, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation. Earlier the STS-119 and Expedition 18 crews concluded 9 days, 20 hours and 10 minutes of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 2:53 p.m. (CDT) on March 25, 2009. Photo credit: NASA

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

S-Ring of Saturn, Cassini Spacecraft Apr 17 2009

Saturn's northern hemisphere is seen here against its nested rings.
This view from the Cassini spacecraft looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 30 degrees above the ringplane. The rings have been brightened relative to the planet to enhance visibility.
Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 24, 2009 at a distance of approximately 866,000 kilometers (538,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 38 kilometers (24 miles) per pixel.

Rainy Day at Hotei Arcus, Titan a Satellite of Saturn, Cassini Spacecraft May 21 2009

Complex and unique canyon systems appear to have been intricately carved into older terrain by the ample flow of liquid methane rivers on Saturn's moon Titan, as seen in this radar image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on May 21, 2009.
The channels seen here indicate that fluids flowed from high plateaus on the right to lowland areas on the left. In the center of the image, the wide distribution of the channels' tributaries suggests that rainfall is effectively eroding the surface. The bright terrain toward the bottom of the image is interpreted as high cliffs and broken bedrock.
These canyon systems remind us that Titan is (or has recently been) a dynamic world with a complicated geological history. Multiple channels have flowed into a wide, dark arc in the center of this mountainous region. Here, the canyons appear to have been filled by fine-grained materials that appear dark (smooth) to Cassini's synthetic aperture radar. These canyon-filling materials were later carved by a large river channel that winds from the bottom left of the image toward the left center.
The image center is at 71 degrees south latitude, 240 degrees west longitude, and its dimensions are 335 by 289 kilometers (208 by 179 miles). The radar illuminated this area from the top of the image at 18 degrees incidence angle. The areas seen here are typical of other regions observed near Titan's south pole in other flybys

A short but fierce "gullywasher" rainstorm of methane falls on the mountains surrounding the intriguing flows of Titan's Hotei Arcus in this artist's concept by Michael Carroll, based upon radar mapping data from the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn.
Radar data show that the arc of Hotei is the boundary between rugged mountains to the south and east and a broad valley. Emerging from the mountains are several radar-bright channels that are likely now dry river beds that were carved by flowing methane due to rainfall. Within the valley, the channels end near lobate (blobby) flows some 100 to 200 meters (300 to 600 feet) thick, which some scientists think could be slushy ice lava from cryovolcanoes. These flows are portrayed here as the rough and elevated lighter tan areas in the foreground. It is possible that such phenomena could release methane from beneath the surface, helping to explain how Titan's atmosphere sustains its supply of methane.
The area depicted is located at approximately 28 degrees south latitude and 78 degrees west longitude.

Tethys- Moon of Saturn, Cassini-Huygens, Cassini Orbiter NASA JPL Jun 26 2009

The shadow of the moon Tethys is revealed on Saturn's B and C rings in this image which also includes the planet.
The planet is overexposed in this image in which the exposure time was set to capture the faint shadow on the rings. Tethys itself is not visible in this image. As Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox, the planet's moons cast shadows onto the rings.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 20 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 12, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 65 kilometers (40 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.